Does the thought of writing content for your website or blog give you flashbacks to the days when you found yourself staring at an empty page while trying to put together a report demanded by a teacher or professor?
If so, you certainly aren’t alone. Most business people will happily admit to us that they love the concept of content marketing, but find writing to be a bit of a chore. Even worse, they aren’t convinced the pages they generate are going to generate any marketing impact.
The answer to both problems is to follow a tested and proven approach to generating content. Having a formula to follow takes a lot of the anxiety out of the act of writing, while at the same time ensuring the finished product will be on-target.
So, if you’re the kind of business owner who needs to add content to your site, blog, or social profiles and doesn’t want to hire a copywriter to get it all done, here are the steps we advise you to follow…
1) Begin With Your Audience
You probably already know what you want to write about, but it’s just as important to know whom you’re writing to. Think about the audience you want to reach. Ask yourself what their interests and motivations are, and what kind of knowledge level they have about your topic. That will make your writing feel more like a conversation, which is easier for you to manage and for your readers to understand.
2) Organize Your Ideas
Facing a blank screen is tough, even for people who work with web content every day. So, rather than starting from scratch, outline a few of your basic ideas. Make a list of the main points you want to get across, and see if you can put them in a logical order. That will make the job of writing easier, and probably give your finished work some clarity.
3) Write in Small Pieces
If the thought of writing a whole page or blog post seems overwhelming, don’t do it all at once. Instead, break the job into small pieces that can be done one at a time. You might even step away from your writing for a bit and complete it in 20 or 30 minute intervals over the course of a week. That’s a good way to keep your mind fresh and generate momentum going forward.
4) Use Stats, Subheadings, and Bullet Points
Statistics, subheadings, and bullet points add special pieces of emphasis to your writing. They also allow you to break things up, for yourself and your reader, so you’re never bogged down on one specific idea for very long. Also, they make your pages easier to take in visually because the main concepts are broken out in a cohesive way.
5) Make Editing and Proofreading a Priority
There are few things as tragic as a well-written page of web content that just needs a little bit of editing and proofreading. If these aren’t tasks you excel at yourself, see if you can get a friend or colleague to help you clean up your work. This is an area where a little bit of attention goes a long way.
6) End Every Page With a Call to Action
Remember, you aren’t writing poetry for fun – you’re generating valuable marketing content for your website. At the end of each piece, you should include a strong call to action that invites a reader to sign up for a newsletter, buy something from you, or take another step. Make it easy for people to respond to your messaging by giving them a clear choice to move forward.
Writing web content is like anything else in life: it gets easier when you have a plan and a bit of practice. Put our process to use, and you might be amazed at what you can pull out of your own mind… and what kind of impression your writing will make on customers.